Year-end reflections on joining the CEE team
As 2017 comes to a close, I’m thrilled to have started work as writer/editor at CEE, where I’ll work with Tim Hanrahan and the communications team to support CEE’s print, digital, and oral communications. I’m excited about the opportunity to lend a hand to CEE’s dynamic energy efficiency programs, collaborate with its various departments, and bring value to the organization.
Pragmatic, practical approach to energy efficiency
I celebrate the end of a great year, and welcome 2018, by reflecting on my first week working at CEE. Three CEE hallmarks I’ve already starting learning about:
- In an era in which conversations about clean energy, energy waste, and climate change are increasingly politicized, CEE is focused on practical, financially-viable energy efficiency solutions for everyday consumers, benefiting our economy and the environment.
- CEE offers long-term solutions to efficiency challenges through a wide-range of services to assess and improve energy use in residential and commercial properties, provide financing for energy efficiency improvements, and disseminate information to help reduce energy waste.
Data-driven, community-based research
- CEE’s research work advances the field of energy efficiency by developing and evaluating energy conservation methodologies, from identifying practical solutions for preventing air leakage and energy loss to testing home and commercial appliances for effective energy usage or measuring indoor air quality in buildings and public settings, and much more.
- CEE also examines consumer behavioral patterns, through its Human-Building Interaction (HBI) research, to understand how people interact with buildings to consume energy.
Workplace culture powered by collaboration, innovation, and support for professional growth
- At CEE, lifelong learning is valued. The organization regularly holds “lunch-&-learns” for staff, in which a conversation on a particular topic is facilitated by an in-house energy efficiency expert.
- This week, Innovation Exchange director Jenny Edwards and research analyst Rabi Vandergon led a discussion about insights gained from the 36th Annual Peak Load Management Association (PLMA) conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
- Jenny and Rabi talked about connections between energy efficiency and “demand response,” meaning efforts to shift consumers’ energy use and relieve an over-burdened electric grid when needed, primarily at times of peak demand. They noted the emerging roles of incentives and pricing structures, customer choice and engagement, and utility-branded marketplaces.
These special traits are just some of the things that make CEE a leader in energy efficiency in Minnesota and beyond. It’s been fun to get a glimpse of 2017 on its way out the door at CEE, and I look forward to learning even more about the organization’s mission, vision, and strategies in the coming year.